Hibs got stronger as this game went on, possibly for the first time ever. The gulf in fitness wasn’t as much of a factor at night as it usually is against Nippon, and we showed great desire at the end to keep pressing for the winner. Collin got it and was so excited he ran off at the final whistle to call his girlfriend. The start was frustrating. Their centre back got away with bringing down Dan when he was through one-on-one and then they went straight down the other end and managed to get a clear header in our six yard box from a corner. That left us 1-0 down despite looking good in the opening exchanges. We were on top for most of the rest of the first half, without creating a whole lot. An Rui set the tone with some big tackles in the middle, we looked a threat out wide and Collin was winning everything in the air. But we were kept to a half chance for An Rui, who battled for Lippy’s pass over the top and worked the keeper with a volley on the turn. We should really have done better with all the corners and free kicks we had around their box, but either the deliver was off or our headers were. It didn’t help that one corner was controlled by a Nippon player with his arm, right under the ref’s nose, and he was allowed to play on. At least we knew were doing a lot of things right and could push on harder after time, maybe making a bit more use of Collin being so huge. Lippy almost ruined any hopes but just about got away with it – “I wanted to do one of those little nods back to the keeper where everyone claps you”. Other than that we looked the more likely team, and soon got the equaliser. Nick chipped a ball over their defence with a bit of back spin. Dan just got there first, his lob hit the bar but came straight back for him to volley in. The Talbot brothers came on for the last 20 minutes and they took it in turns to waste some great crosses from Neil. Big Talbot kept flicking them over the bar and Little Talbot couldn’t keep a point blank header on target. It looked like we’d need to settle for a point until Jamie scuffed a free kick into the box right at the end. It somehow bounced through everyone to Collin at the back post. He chested it down, squeezed it into the bottom corner and ran off to get his phone. Hard to pick an MoM this week, and for better reasons than the last game. Lippy was excellent on his return from alcohol, An Rui and Nick were immense in the middle, and Jamie didn’t give away any pens. Collin gets it though, so he can send this link to his mum.
Majority of judgments were against us. The referee did not make critical miss judgement but FKs given were advantage for Hibs. 6: Nakata's corner kick was straight towards Kaki, Kaki without any marker did free header towards the corner of the net. (1-0) 13: Nakasuji 25: Hibs MFs are quick to check, aggressive to gain the ball. Our midfield had tough time to control the ball. 35: Hibs FW's middle range shot was to our GK. They dont miss any chance toward the goal. 51: Minato didn't miss miscommunication between Hibs DF and GK. He did steal but his shot was not towards the goal. 52: Hibs broke into the middle with simple short passes, the first shot was to the bar but second went into. (1-1) 60-90: We sent several substitutes but they couldn't change situation. 85: Hibs corner kick was a kind of miss kick but went toward free FW behind our DFs. (1-2) We could not utilize our own strength in the game. Hibs did not miss sheer chances 90 minutes they waited their time with patience.